Summertime Sadness

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Summer is approaching.

The sun is finally out, the strawberries are appearing at the markets, and the taste of happiness fills the air. Sometimes I catch a glimpse of it before the darkness swallows me up again.

Over the past week or so a few things have happened that may hinder or help my stress levels. I’ve had some pressure taken off at work, hopefully more to come, and I’ve also moved back into my parents house. I’m not sure if these two things combine will provide a better or worse environment to help me get back on the road to happiness, but summer is going to play its part and help give me back the spring in my step.

The mere flicker of sunlight makes me reflect, relax, and connect with the nature around me. I could sit on the grass watching the world go by for hours on end if the sun is beaming down on me. Considering endless possibilities about my life, endless choices and endless problems, wondering how to find the solutions.

When I spoke to my Dr he advised blood tests to check my vitamins and minerals, and then anti depressants to help combat my mood. Something inside is telling me to take the drugs. To give in to them, to let them help me from the inside out. If I don’t I forsee a summer or cider and pringles, which will both just depress me further.

Summer brings with it the endless bounty of food available. Fresh vegetables on the market, fresh fruits lining the stalls, ripe and ready to devour their sweet, juicy, flesh. Summer is a time when it’s easy to eat healthy.

I’ve been trying to eat better. I really have. But the boredom gets to me. The stress gets to me. The anxiety gets to me. Food helps it ALL. Food makes everything better.

Everything except me.

Saying farewell to secret eating…

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I’ve found the first step I need to take on my journey back to happy healthy Hazel.

As I was driving home last night munching on a mini easter egg it hit me. I’ve started hiding my food intake when I’m being “naughty”. It’s something I used to do back in my overweight, bulimic days when I was ashamed of the food quality or quantity I had eaten.

It’s not that I’m binging or eating insane amounts of junk, but I am eating more junk than I should be. Not enough to make me gain weight, but enough to stop me losing anymore. Enough to make me aware that I need to STOP IT!!!!!

So what would I tell a client? What did I do the first time I needed to give up junk?? I had to take responsibility for the food I was eating. It doesn’t matter if I eat a whole tub of pringles, or a giant indian takeaway. What matters is that I’m willing to own up to the fact that I ate it, that I don’t expect great results after eating. I take responsibility of the actions that occur from the food I choose to put into my mouth.

In order to do this I need to start keeping a food diary again. Not a food diary thats restrictive or missing bad foods because I’m trying to stay underneath a certain calorie budget. A real food diary, keeping track of every single thing that passes my mouth, in which I can reflect on without judgement.

The first step of recovery is always admitting to yourself that you have a problem. If I can bring myself to admit the foods I’m eating, and see it in front of me and black and white I can begin to deal with the reasons why I’m overeating and begin to overcome them.

So I pledge to keep a daily food diary again. No secrets. Nothing missed out. A 100% accurate account of my daily food intake.

Hopefully from there, I can take a step forward.

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Healthy, Happy, Hazimax… or not.

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depression_obsessive_compulsive1Healthy, Happy, Hazimax. That’s me. Except it’s not.

It should be.

It’s almost 3 years since I lost my weight, I’ve remained the same weight ( give or take a few fluctuating pounds ) I’ve qualified as a Personal Trainer, I’ve qualified as a group fitness instructor, I’ve qualified as a Nutritionist. I have the world at my feet. But something feels missing.

Lately I’ve been walking through my own life like a zombie, not really appreciating, not really caring, not even seeing the things and people around me. A feeling of emptiness in the bottom of my stomach. I feel almost lost.

This new world I’ve created for myself is beginning to feel alien to me, unwelcoming, and cold. Can I really teach other people how to lose weight? Can I really advise people on nutrition and exercise? Is my knowledge, advice and motivation really worth an hourly charge?

Despite having more free time than any person I know I feel constantly overwhelmed. Like I have too much on my plate and too little time to do it in. When I try to concentrate on a single task every other task lingers in the background, taunting me. Luring me away.

I’m not eating well. Food has become my comfort, my emotional crutch once again. The answer to my problems is lurking at the bottom of a tub of pringles, the relief from my anxiety is hidden in a box of chocolates. I feel numb, constantly searching, seeking to feel anything, anything to pull me out of the sand I feel myself sinking deeper and deeper into.

I can’t remember the last time I truly laughed. I can’t remember the last time I had an afternoon of fun, revelling in the task of a hobby or adventure.

I feel alone in a brave new world of aliens who outshine me. Whom my knowledge can never compare to. An outsider. Never good enough to be part of the inner circle.

No one has made me feel this way. No one has bullied me, or judged me, or made me feel unwelcome. But maybe that’s because I don’t really have friends, or colleagues, or anyone to talk to. To turn to.

It’s just me.

Alone.

Trying to figure out my place in this world.

Everything around me is suffering. I wonder how other adults survive in this strange world we live in. A world of 40 hour working weeks, of constant pressure to maintain a toned size 10 dress size, a groomed appearance and an educated mind.

How do people around me manage a family, a full time job, and a social life when I can barely make one work?

What’s wrong with me that everything in life is such a challenge? That every little task takes three times as much effort for me to complete as the next person?

I realise these are the rants of a crazy woman….most probably a woman whose bordering on her old path of depression and destruction, and I wonder how I pull myself out.

I did it before. Surely I can do it again?

I’ve been that Healthy and Happy Hazimax…. but I lost her.

My journey to get her back must begin.

Creamy potato salad

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I made this recipe yesterday whilst trying to throw together a quick lunch with whatever ingredients were in my fridge.

However, it’s so good, I had to make it again today.

 

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Ingredients

  • 20 new potatoes / 4 sweet potatoes ( or a mixture )
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2 spring onions
  • 1 red onion
  • 3 small carrots
  • Vegan mayonaise
  • Seasoning of choice

Method

  1. Steam potatoes for 20 minutes
  2. Grill for 5
  3. Finely dice onion, spring onion, grated carrot and celery.
  4. Chop the cooked potatoes into bitesized chunks
  5. Toss all ingredients together
  6. Season well with salt, pepper, paprika, and any other seasoning of choice… I added garlic, and a mexican seasoning mix.
  7. Add 1-2 tbsp vegan mayonaise and stir.

Just as tasty without the mayo!!!

 

potatosalad

Exercising to music

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When we think of exercising we often imagine working hard whilst listening to our favourite tunes.

That’s why exercise to music classes are so popular in today’s society. Listening to your favourite songs helps you feel more motivated, work harder, and makes exercise that bit more fun.

Whilst I do enjoy a good sing along when I pound the pavements I have never really been a avid fan of the typical exercise class.

I’ve tried classes like Les Mills, and Legs, bums and tums but never really found them that effective.

However, when I found myself teaching Insanity it made sense to progress my education in fitness and enrol on a Level 2 Fitness Course.

Not a fan of cardio-machines, and preferring barbells and kettlebells to weight machines, I opted for the group exercise course over the gym based course.

Then I attended the first weekend of my course and was transported back to the 1980s, and a world of leotards, leg warmers and Rosemary Conley.

Side step, box step, mambo, grapevine…. Exercises I haven’t done in years, and all in time to a cd? This would definitely be a bigger challenge than I expected.

After an initial panic I dived in, and began working on my own routine, counting the beats to the music and shimming my hips to the rhythm, but it wasn’t without it’s difficulties.

Now I have to create, rehearse and teach my routine to a class full of people to pass my exam in the next month or so.

Whilst I fully intend to give the course my all, so I can progress onto things more suited to my style of exercise, I can’t wait to hang up my ‘dancing’ shoes and swap the side stepping for some squats and snatches.

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